Fall Into the Groove

September and October are two of the Island’s best months. By the time summer fades, that famed New England autumn is in full swing, and it’s warm enough to enjoy it. This time of year is also the unofficial Island festival season – with several weekend-long events to suit a variety of interests. Our picks for these months remind us why we love the Island’s shoulder season.

1. Arboreal beauty. A nature walk is the perfect way to observe the Island’s foliage as it becomes a kaleidoscope of changing colors in the autumn months. For a pigment-rich outdoor jaunt, visit the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank property at Fulling Mill Brook off Middle Road in Chilmark. Leafy forest trails offer glimpses of ocean as they wind toward the Island’s south shore over brook and farmland.

2. Let’s all go to the movies. The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival expands the borders of the Island’s big screen September 8 to 11 with a worldly selection of more than fifty films at different venues in downtown Vineyard Haven. On Friday night, the short-film competition returns for a second year with ten finalists selected from more than two hundred entries.

Tickets do sell out, so consider purchasing in advance at or during festival days at the box office in the Mansion House. See complete list at

3. Vineyard fashions. The first-ever Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week puts Island style on the runway September 18 to 24. Taking note from those in New York and Paris, the week will include fashion shows (featuring Island designers), trunk shows, special sales hosted by retail stores across the Island, beauty clinics, and evening fêtes – all celebrating la mode. Tickets are available on Get the details at

4. Yoga does a body good. Find peace of body and mind at the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival in Chilmark at the Beach Plum Inn and the Chilmark Community Center over Columbus Day weekend (October 7 to 10). Classes range from relaxing restorative sessions to hot yoga, plus broga and even a family class, led by Island yogis and several high-profile visiting teachers. The festival also includes massage and acupuncture sessions, brown bag lunches with a variety of alternative medicine practitioners, and a raw-food dinner with expert Jill Pettijohn. Tickets are available for the whole festival or on a half-day or daily basis and can be purchased online at More info at

5. Chefs and vintners unite. The Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival celebrates the finer things October 14 and 15. The two-day festival offers a delectable array of dinners, spirit tastings, seminars, and cooking classes. The festival’s signature Grand Tasting has been moved from its usual home in Edgartown to the MV Chowder Co. in Oak Bluffs, where attendees can sip, sample, and savor fare from more than forty restaurants, caterers, and vendors from the Vineyard and New England. For festival schedule, see